Archive for Beef

Salt Crusted Beef Tenderloin

Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Salt and Pepper

There is nothing like salt crusted beef tenderloin. Beef tenderloin in general makes my mouth water as long as it’s cooked the right way (a.k.a medium rare).  Salt is a must because it locks in the juices to give it the melt in your mouth taste. My husband and I came up with this simple way of making beef tenderloin on the grill and it is perfect every time. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 30-45 minutes (depending on size)


Beef tenderloin (size depends on how many people you are serving)

Kosher or Sea salt

FRESH cracked pepper

Garlic Salt

Garlic Powder

Preparing Salt Crusted Beef Tenderloin:

Preheat the grill to high. Lightly brush the tenderloin with olive oil. Coat generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with garlic powder and garlic salt. Put the tenderloin on just long enough to sear all sides.

Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Salt and Pepper

Move to indirect heat and cook until the center (thickest part) reaches 140 degrees. Let rest for at least 10 minutes. Slice and serve!

Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Salt and Pepper

Important Tips:

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it 100 times…let your cooked meat rest before slicing it. 

Meal Ideas:

Beef tenderloin is so versatile and can be served with just about any green vegetable and starch! 

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Got Leftovers?:

Leftover beef tenderloin makes fabulous sliders!!

Looks delicious, Denise! No knife required for that beef! (see I can even be nice) ~Melissa

Beef Tenderloin Sliders with Horseradish Sauce and Pickled Red Onions

beef tenderloin slider horseradish

I had a few people over at the last minute to watch the Super Bowl and eat dinner. Since, it is all about the football for me, I wanted food that would be great but was essentially all complete before anyone arrived. Seriously, there is no time to be in the kitchen during the Super Bowl because you have to watch the commercials and the half time show and the game….if you don’t get that and want to get why football can be that much fun for women, check out Flip the Field, but I digress.

Anyway, on the abbreviated menu were sliders. But not your average ‘small sandwich’… we are talking about an elegant and extremely tasty finger food of beef tenderloin sliders with horseradish sauce, pickled red onions, mixed greens and gouda. Oh my!

beef tenderloin slider horseradish

How to make Beef Tenderloin Sliders with Horseradish Sauce and Pickled Red Onions

Rolls – Awesome, fresh, soft slider rolls are the first ingredient because with sliders, it all starts with the bread

Beef Tenderloin – I grilled a whole beef tenderloin and let it rest for a couple of hours before I even thought about slicing it since I was going to serve it room temperature anyway. Because of the shape of the tenderloin, you’ll have a nice mix of rare, medium rare and a couple of pieces of medium if you cook it like I do. I just can’t cook beef tenderloin past that.

whole beef tenderloin

Horseradish Sauce – I make something similar to this but use some Greek yogurt to cut back on calories.

Horseradish Sauce

Pickled Red Onions – these really are the bomb!

how to pickle an onion

Mixed Greens – you can use any lettuce of your choice but I like the look and taste of mixed greens on this one.

Gouda – I used the un-aged ‘soft’ gouda not because it is my favorite cheese but because I wanted something creamy and that would not overpower the other flavors. It was a mild cheese taste with a great creamy texture.

I had the pleasure of being invited to this impromptu get together at Melissa’s house. I must say, these sliders were truly amazing. So tender and delicious! – Denise

Meatloaf with Bacon

I’ve never been a huge meatloaf lover. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t like the recipe that was used when I was growing up or because the concept of a loaf of meat grossed me out. It could also have been the ketchup. Anyway, my husband and daughter have always been fans, but my son…not so much.  I’ve been determined to find a recipe he will like. I came up with this one from a collection of recipes and ideas. I must say…HUGE hit! I wonder if it’s the bacon!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 20min; Cook Time – 1 hour


1 1/4- 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef

1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

1 1/2 cups finely chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup bacon, cooked and finely chopped

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup ketchup

1 T. chopped parsley

1 T. chopped thyme

2 eggs

1 1/2 T. Worcestershire sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

4 strips raw bacon

BBQ sauce

Preparing Meatloaf:

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients except for raw bacon and BBQ sauce in a large mixing bowl. Mix well with your hands. Shape into a 9 x 5 oval loaf and place on parchment paper.



Top with strips of bacon.


Bake for 30 minutes. Brush the tops and sides of the meatloaf with BBQ sauce and bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 Degrees. Let rest before slicing.



Oh my. You could really add just about anything you wanted to into the meatloaf. You can change the ground beef to ground turkey, change up the ingredient you use to bind the meat together and throw in just about any vegetable you want! Top with a tomato based sauce if you prefer instead of BBQ sauce.

Meal Ideas:

Serve with mashed potatoes and a salad!

Blackened Steak and Grits with Roasted Corn, Tomatoes and Jalapenos

Blackened steak with cheese grits

It was one of those days of going 5000 mph and no time to make it to the grocery store and too much for everyone else to do to go out to eat. So, what is your option? You scrounge through your refrigerator and pantry and pull out anything you think might go together.

It was one of those nights for me the other day, but while the kids did homework and the husband kept working, I ‘threw’ this together like I had just opened my basket of secret ingredients on Chopped!!

I found some fresh from the farm grits, steak, grape tomatoes, corn on the cob, jalapenos, and cheese. Hmmmmm. I love shrimp and grits, why not steak and grits?!

This is why it is so important to have a well stocked pantry and fridge. When you have a minute, you should look at the non-recipe content on McNack’s. There is a whole bunch of great tips out there for the home cooks.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep and Cook Time – 45min – 1 hour

Ingredients for 4 people:

4 small steaks of your choice of cut

1 1/2 cups grits (not instant, PLEASE!!)

1 1/2 cups of grape tomatoes

2 Jalapenos

4 ears of corn

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

Salt and Pepper

Panko Bread crumbs

2T Butter

1T Garlic Powder

Blackening seasoning (yes Denise, I made my own with a mix of whatever I felt like – I think it was chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne (left that off the kids steaks), paprika, salt and pepper)

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:


Good Grits – I was using grits from Blizzard Branch Milling Company but these Palmetto grits are really good too. I prefer the yellow grits.

How to make blackened steak and grits:

You have to start with what will take the longest and in this situation – that is the grits. Mine called for 1 cup of grits to 5 cups of water (so 1.5 cups grits is 7.5 cups water). I got the water started, added some salt and moved to the next items while I waited for the water to boil.

Next up, I started the grill to roast the corn and jalapenos. While it was getting hot, I shucked the corn, washed the tomatoes and jalapenos and shredded the cheese.

By then the water was boiling so I SLOWLY added the grits and whisked them into the water. When they returned to a boil, I reduced the heat to a simmer and stirred frequently with the whisk.

Now the grill is hot, so I added the ears of corn. I just wanted to get some color on them and cook them through. I then turned on the oven to 450 degrees, greased a small casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray, added the tomatoes with some salt, pepper and about 1/2 cup of the panko bread crumbs on top. Drizzled with a bit of olive oil and placed in the oven.

Don’t forget to whisk the grits!

Ok, so I added the seasoning to the steaks and threw them on the grill. They were not very thick so they would only take about 10 minutes to cook. The corn was done so I removed it from the grill to let cool a bit.

I stirred the grits some more with that whisk! They will take about 45 mins to an hour to cook through (at least mine did – about 45 minutes) and absorb the water to the consistency I like. When they seem to be getting close, taste them and add some salt as desired. Then add the garlic powder and cheese.

When the steaks come off the grill, let them rest in a rimmed bowl or baking sheet to capture the juices. Then you can add the jalapenos (whole) to the grill. Again we want to get a nice char on them because that tastes good and looks good too.

The corn should be cool so you can cut it off the cob into a bowl. Then slice the meat. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and the jalapenos from the grill and you are ready to plate.

I used a shallow bowl and filled with the cheese grits. Then I topped with some sliced steak and poured a bit of the juices on top. Then add the roasted corn, tomatoes and jalapenos et Voila!

Dig in!! I left the cayenne off the kids steaks and the jalapenos out of their bowls. They loved it too!

Important Tips:

Whisk and whisk and whisk the grits some more. No one likes lumpy grits.


Sure – change the cheese in the grits. Change the protein. Change the vegetables. Whatever floats your boat. Trust yourself. Just don’t be like Rachel in Friends and put peas in your trifle and you’ll be ok!

Pan seared steak with caramelized onions and homemade oven fries – in less than 45 minutes!

pan seared steak with onions

My brother-in-law gave Mark and I steaks from Kansas City Steak Company as a gift to help me out on those crazy days when you just don’t have time to get it all done. The great thing here is that the steaks he gave are what KCSC calls sandwich steaks. They were perfect because they took no time at all to thaw or cook.

I was able to scrounge through the fridge and pantry to pull this together in no time flat with no trip to the grocery store!! Amen Brother!


Caramelized onions:

1 Vidalia onion

2T olive oil

Pan seared steak:

4 sandwich steaks

Seasoning salt (I used the Kansas City one but Slavo’s or your own would be great)

Tomato salad:

2 large tomatoes

fresh basil

salt and pepper

Oven Fries:

3 russet potatoes

olive oil

salt and pepper

How to make pan seared steak with caramelized onions and homemade oven fries in less than 45 minutes!!

5:30pm –  I grabbed the steaks out of the freezer and set on the counter. Turned the oven on 450 degrees. Grabbed the potatoes and washed them. Set out the cutting board, knife and baking sheet.

5:35pm – Cut the potatoes into wedges. Toss with salt, pepper and olive oil. Tear off a sheet of parchment paper (optional but cleanup is super easy) and set on a baking sheet. Add the potatoes and place in the oven.

5:40pm – Grab a skillet and a large onion. Peel the onion and then slice into thin rings. Place 2 T olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat and add the onions. Toss to coat in the oil.carmelized onion

5:45pm – Turn the steaks over and set on a different area of the counter. The cold has transferred onto the counter top so moving will allow more heat to transfer. It’s simple physics really. Wash off my cutting board and knife from the starchy potatoes. Grab the tomatoes and a serrated knife. Stir the onions.

5:50pm – Dice the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and place in a serving bowl.

5:55pm – Pick some basil (I said that just for you Denise), rinse it, wrap it in a paper towel. We’ll cut this later. Stir the onions

6:00pm – Remove the steaks from the package, separate, place on a plate and season with the seasoning salt.

6:05pm – Toss the potatoes a bit. Grab a pan for the steaks. I used my flat griddle so I had enough room. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on it and turn on high.

6:07pm – Add the steaks to the pan, sear on each side for about 4 minutes. Toss the potatoes and onions while waiting on the first side. Chop up some basil and add to the tomatoes while you wait on the other side.

pan seared steak

6:15pm – call everyone to dinner, serve it up and enjoy!

pan seared steak with onions

What to serve with steak

Steak and Crab Cakes

When I make steak for the family, I typically just season and grill it. No one complains and they eat it up. However, I was thinking the other day that it might be nice to add a little something new to top them off. I had some Costco (yes…there it is again) crab cakes in the freezer to try out so I cooked them as directed and served it with a filet. For those of you who don’t really know me I take no shame in admitting when I serve something from the freezer. I’m a busy mom, not superwoman. Plus…touching crab? I don’t think so!

Steak and Crab Cakes

On to another idea….I always thought bleu cheese was a nice accompaniment to steak so I added that to one of the filets as soon as it came off the grill. Delicious!

Steak topped with bleu cheese

Don’t forget our past ideas for a fresh chimichurri sauce , caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms. These are all great ideas to serve with steak too!!

Veal with Meaux Mustard Sauce

veal with cream sauce

Nine years ago is the last time I went to France with my immediate family and my in-laws (7 people altogether ranging from almost 2 to 74 at the time). For our 2nd week there, we rented a B&B in Provence where we all fell in love with a regional dish, Cassoulet. Oh my!! I’ll have to post a recipe for that at another time.

Anyway, we had access to the kitchen and I enjoyed cooking up a few special meals while we were there. I loved walking into the little village and doing my shopping at 3-4 local stores instead of one big box store. There is also something transformative about cooking in a kitchen in Provence.  This place was so beautiful!

For our last night there, I decided to search through the owner’s cookbooks for a recipe that would be extra special. I found this veal with Meaux mustard sauce and made it for the family. It was so good, that I had to write it down and bring it home. I hope you love it too!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min; Cook Time – 30-40 min


6 veal medallions (I use scallopini / veal cutlets instead because it is not that easy to get a nice veal medallion at the local grocery store)

1 oz clarified butter

3 shallots, minced

1/2 cup port wine

1 cup heavy cream

3T Meaux Mustard (this is a specific mustard from a specific region in France, kind of like Dijon. When I don’t have Meaux, I do use Dijon but it’s better with Meaux Mustard. You can order it here at Amazon as it’s not in local grocery stores. I have seen it in Whole Foods before)

2 T butter cut into small pieces

Preparing the Veal with Meaux Mustard Sauce:

Salt and pepper the veal.

ideas with veal cutlets

Veal dish

I made chicken and veal because veal is expensive and the kids would prefer chicken anyway.

Cook meat over medium heat in clarified butter until golden brown. If using a thick medallion, leave in the pan for the remaining steps. If using a cutlet, then remove and add back later.

Clarified butter

Clarifying the butter


veal with mustard and shallots

Add minced shallots into the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Veal with shallots and mustard

Add the port wine to deglaze the pan and scrape up any brown bits.

veal with mustard sauce


Reduce the port by 1/2.

Add the cream and reduce by about 1/2 as well.

veal with cream and mustard


veal recipes

Remove from heat, add mustard and whisk in butter one small piece at a time.

veal menu idea

Pour sauce over veal cutlets.

veal with cream sauce

Menu Idea:

Shown above with red potato and bacon hash and asparagus with Dijon vinaigrette. This went great together because the potatoes helped soak up a bit of the extra sauce and the mustard in the asparagus complimented the mustard in the veal  (if using the Meaux mustard, substitute the Dijon mustard in the asparagus with the Meaux). AMAZING dinner!!